|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:25-38 Water is an emblem of the cleansing our polluted souls from sin. But no water can do more than take away the filth of the flesh. Water seems in general the sacramental sign of the sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost; yet this is always connected with the atoning blood of Christ. When the latter is applied by faith to the conscience, to cleanse it from evil works, the former is always applied to the powers of the soul, to purify it from the pollution of sin. All that have an interest in the new covenant, have a new heart and a new spirit, in order to their walking in newness of life. God would give a heart of flesh, a soft and tender heart, complying with his holy will. Renewing grace works as great a change in the soul, as the turning a dead stone into living flesh. God will put his Spirit within, as a Teacher, Guide, and Sanctifier. The promise of God's grace to fit us for our duty, should quicken our constant care and endeavour to do our duty. These are promises to be pleaded by, and will be fulfilled to, all true believers in every age.
Verse 35. - This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden. (For the reverse picture, see Joel 2:3.) The thought of the first Paradise (Genesis 2:8), in the historicity of which clearly Ezekiel believed, was one on which his mind often dwelt (Ezekiel 28:13; Ezekiel 31:9) as an ideal of earthly beauty and fertility which should recur in the closing age of the world - a hope which appears to have been shared by Isaiah (Isaiah 51:3), and taken up by John (Revelation 2:7; Revelation 22:1-3). In the day when that hope should be realized for Israel, the waste, desolate, and ruined cities, on which the passers-by who visited Palestine gazed, should be fenced and inhabited; literally, inhabited as fortresses. The three predicates, "waste," "desolate," and" ruined," have been distinguished as signifying "stripped of its inhabitants," "untilled in its lands," and "broken down in its buildings;" in contrast with which, in the golden era of the future, the towns should be inhabited, the fields tilled, and the ruined fortresses built.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they shall say,.... Either the neighbouring nations that lived round about the land of Israel, Ezekiel 36:36, or rather the travellers, as before, who having as they passed by observed what it had been, and now see what it is; these shall say to one another:
this land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; for delight and fruitfulness: this may well be applied to the flourishing and fruitful state of the church of God, consisting of converted Jews, in the latter day:
and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited; which, as it will be true of cities in a literal sense, so of the churches of Christ in Judea in a spiritual sense; which will be rebuilt by the grace of God, fenced and fortified by his almighty power, and inhabited by true believers.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
35. they shall say—The heathen, who once made Israel's desolation a ground of reproach against the name of Jehovah Himself (Eze 36:20, 21); but now He so vindicates its sanctity (Eze 36:22, 23) that these same heathen are constrained to acknowledge Israel's more than renewed blessedness to be God's own work, and a ground for glorifying His name (Eze 36:36).
Eden—as Tyre (the type of the world powers in general: so Assyria, a cedar "in the garden of God, Eden," Eze 31:8, 9), in original advantages, had been compared to "Eden, the garden of God" (Eze 28:13), from which she had fallen irrecoverably; so Israel, once desolate, is to be as "the garden of Eden" (Isa 51:3), and is to be so unchangeably.
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